The deaf want to be heard : a study on the invisibility of disability in Singapore's Hearing Society
Date of Issue2016
School of Humanities and Social Sciences
With deafness being a sensory condition, coupled with Singapore’s assimilationist approach to ‘cure’ those with varying audiological functionalities, being deaf is considered a disability often overlooked. By analysing responses of profoundly deaf individuals in Singapore, this study highlights how social stigma, medical interventions and an uncompromising hearing society create an inaccessible environment as perceived by the Deaf, with efforts to improve communication and interaction still insufficient. Findings that support this study discuss the negotiation between medical and social models of disability, considering the role society plays in disabling the deaf by individualising deafness as an illness. Cultivating a Deaf-friendly society requires not just the removal of physical barriers, but eradicating negative attitudes through increased education and awareness. Accommodative instead of assimilationist adjustments embrace diversity of hearing capabilities, undermining the disabled nature of being deaf. Is there a place for people who value being Deaf in a world that values hearing?
Final Year Project (FYP)
Nanyang Technological University